Rickmers Noteholder Contests Boxship Fleet Sale to Navios

The sale of fourteen boxships from Rickmers Maritime to shipping company Navios Partners Containers could be halted by an individual noteholder, according to the Singapore-based business trust.

Rickmers Maritime said it was served at the close of business on May 12 with a summons from Kwok Kian Tow Peter, who holds the company’s SGD 250,000 (around USD 179,000) of the SGD 100 million 8.45 percent notes, seeking an injunction to stop the sale of the ships to Navios Containers and Navios Partners Containers Finance.

According to Rickmers Maritime, the noteholder has not previously discussed the matter with the company and “the injunction application was completely unanticipated by the trust.”

In case the injunction is found to be wrongful, the noteholder seeks exemption from an undertaking as to damages to be provided to the court. This would harm the winding up process of the trust if the injunction is to proceed, the trust said.

As disclosed, the sale of the ships was the only deal on the table that could be executed, addressing the illiquidity of the trust.

“As the trust is suffering an acute illiquidity situation and can obtain no sustainable relief or additional financing to cover cash burn on laid-up, idle and spot trading vessels, it had no other options but to proceed with the sale of its assets without delay in order to avoid liens and vessel arrests,” Rickmers Maritime noted.

The trust further said it plans to resist the injunction application as it could result in ship arrests.

In late April, Greece-based Navios Maritime Partners agreed to acquire the entire container fleet from Rickmers Maritime. The average age of the fleet, which consists of eleven 4,250 TEU containerships and three 3,450 TEU vessels, is 9.5 years.

Subsequently, Navios Maritime Partners said it plans to transfer the 14-vessel fleet to its affiliate Navios Containers.

Last week, Navios Containers decided to sell some 15 million of its shares to finance the purchase and further vessel acquisitions. The company is looking to secure up to USD 75 million of gross proceeds through the share sale.

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